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Beating victim files suit against county

Former deputy now serving time for attack

Posted: January 20, 2012 8:44 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Charles Shelley, who while handcuffed was repeatedly beaten by a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputy outside the Kershaw County Detention Center in August 2010, has filed a lawsuit against Kershaw County and related parties charging negligence, assault and battery, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The deputy, former KCSO Sgt. Oddie Tribble, was found guilty in February 2011 of using excessive force on Shelley while in custody and of violating Shelley’s constitutional right to be free of excessive use of force. According to court testimony and video from the detention center’s surveillance cameras, Shelley was struck 27 times by an asp baton wielded by Tribble. He was sentenced to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution.

The lawsuit was filed Dec. 21 in U.S. District Court in Columbia. Shelley is represented in the suit by Todd Rutherford, a Columbia attorney.

In addition to Kershaw County, defendants in the case include the sheriff’s office, Tribble and other unnamed officers and employees of the KCSO and county who, according to the lawsuit, “witnessed the beating, but did not intervene and did nothing to stop the beating or offer assistance to Mr. Shelley.”

The suit alleges, among other things:

• that the defendants breached their duty of care by beating and/or not intervening to stop the attack on Shelley while he was restrained;

• that as a result of the defendants’ “assault and battery on Mr. Shelley, Mr. Shelley suffered real and ascertainable actual and consequential damages”;

• that Tribble’s employer knew or should have known of the necessity to exercise control over the situation and its employees, and the employer had the opportunity to exercise such control but failed to do so;

• that as a result of the defendants’ “intentional infliction of emotional distress and outrageous conduct, Mr. Shelley suffered real and ascertainable actual and consequential damages”;

• that the defendants “willfully deprived Mr. Shelley of his rights secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States; that is the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process, which includes the right to be free from the use of excessive force amounting to punishment by a police officer, all in violation of the United States Constitution and federal law.

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